Back in May 2012, a Wisconsin man was traveling south on a Wisconsin road when he drifted across the line into oncoming traffic. The car accident that followed ended up killing one woman and severely injured another. That man has since taken a plea bargain in connection with the criminal charges filed against him shortly after the accident.
According to court documents, the driver had taken his eyes off of the road to take a call on his cell phone when the accident occurred. The driver was also driving while his license was revoked. The man pleaded no contest to two criminal charges, one of which was homicide. It is not yet known when the man will be sentenced.
Now that the Wisconsin man has pleaded guilty to a crime in connection with the death of the occupant of the vehicle he hit, her family may use that plea as evidence of his negligence in a civil action. In order to prevail in a wrongful death action, it must be shown that the party deemed responsible for the death was negligent and that negligence caused or contributed to the fatality. A criminal conviction may go a long ways toward that end.
There has been a lot of discussion and evidence presented that indicates that people using their cellphones while driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. Drivers that are on their cellphones become distracted which can divert the driver’s attention away from the road. It is when that happens that the possibility of being involved in a car accident increases dramatically.
Source: fdlreporter.com, “FdL man pleads no contest in fatal accident,” April 22, 2013